"Dairy free??" I hear you say, "But, Lizzie, you love butter more than anyone I know. Your love of butter boarders on wildly unhealthy!"
I know, I hear you. But I also love my sister-in-law, and she is dairy-free at the moment, so we are going to explore the exciting world of dairy substitutes!
Rachel and I hosted a dinner for my mom's 60th birthday recently, and the whole thing - with the exception of the cheese course, naturally - was an adventure in the dairy-free. We made Madeira sauce with margarine, roasted vegetables with olive oil, and cakes with coconut oil. Let me tell you something. Even though all of those things should be made with honest-to-goodness butter from a cow, I would not have been able to tell the difference if I wasn't in the kitchen with the impostor dairy as we were mixing it into our dishes. You can trust me because I am normally not one to swallow my pride. I am fiercely loyal, and butter is more or less my best friend. I would never say it wasn't necessary if it wasn't true.
We made dairy-free lemon meringue and a key lime cakes for dinner. Both were great, but I was particularly impressed by the lemon curd that was incorporated into the lemon meringue cake. This was a great component to cut the sweetness of the cake, and it would also be delicious baked into a tart shell, on top of coconut ice cream, spread over bread, or inside a crepe. I found the recipe on Texanerin's Blog. There are three best things about this dairy-free lemon curd recipe:
1.) It only uses 4 ingredients
2.) You use every part of the indredients (no leftover egg whites or naked lemons)
3.) It takes about 20 minutes start to finish.
Next time you dine with a dairy-free friend, you can offer to bring dessert. It's common curd-esy. NAILED IT.
1.) Gather your ingredients:
1/4 cup honey (the darker the honey, the darker the curd)
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
2.) Prepare your lemons
Get two wee bowls. In one, place the zest of both lemons. In the other, place the freshly squeezed juice of both lemons. You should have about a tablespoon of zest and 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
3.)In a double boiler (or a bowl in a pan of simmering water or a heavy-bottomed pot), mix the lemon zest, the eggs, and the honey.
4.) Heat the egg-honey-zest mixture over medium heat in your double boiler or medium-low if you have your pot directly over the flame. Curds are delicate, so you want to aim for diffuse heat.
5.) When the mixture is warm and well-mixed, add the 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Mix until melted.
6.) Once the coconut oil is completely melted, add the 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
7.) This is the most important part. Stir the curd continuously until it starts to thicken - about 7 - 10 minutes. No, seriously, don't stop stirring. Eggs scramble around 185°F, so you want to make sure you are stirring to distribute the heat and not allowing any part of the curd to succumb to the scramble. You got this.
8.) Soon you will have a delightfully thick lemon curd. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
It's done when it coats the back of a spoon.
You can strain the curd if you accidentally let some of the egg scramble, and you can keep the curd in the fridge for a week or so. Or you can eat the entire pot of curd right away - it's ok, it's diary free! It's basically a health food!
Next week on Baking & Beer, we're reintroducing butter. And beer. Happy Memorial Day!